CHCH News Ethics and Editorial Practices

CHCH News is an independently-owned multi-platform news organization headlined by Canada’s leading local heritage television station, CHCH-TV. We have an unwavering commitment to delivering quality, trustworthy, factual news across multiple platforms and have been serving the dynamic and growing regions of Hamilton, Halton, Niagara, Haldimand-Norfolk and Brant since 1954.

CHCH News adheres to the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Code of Journalistic Ethics which emphasizes accuracy, fairness, independence, integrity and respect.

CHCH News also complies with standards set by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters, including the Journalistic Independence Code, the Violence on Television Code, and the Equitable Portrayal Code. We are a member of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, which independently adjudicates any complaints from the public.

These codes and their guiding principles underscore our commitment to journalism that is accurate and in the public interest. As a reputable, trusted, news organization in a democracy, our purpose is to enable citizens to know what is happening and to clarify events through accurate, fair, and relevant stories told in a clear and compelling way.

CHCH news gathering is independent of commercial or political interests. We do not accept gifts in exchange for news coverage, in order to avoid any conflict-of-interest or appearance thereof.

When we publish opinion pieces, CHCH News will clearly label those as “commentary” or “opinion” and ensure they do not misrepresent other points of view.


CHCH News aims to reflect diversity by recognizing that past and present social injustices, blatant prejudice and unconscious bias still exist within our country. We aim to embrace and accurately represent the rich perspectives and experiences that arise from racial, ethnic, socio-economic, sexual, gender, differently abled and religious diversity within our community.

We seek out diverse voices in our sources and stories and within our workforce.


CHCH News strives to always be accurate. Our credibility depends on that. CHCH News will promptly correct significant errors of fact in its journalism, once we determine that an error has been made. We stand by published and broadcast information as accurate. If it’s not, we will change it as quickly as possible and be transparent with our viewers and readers about the error.

Stories are not considered inaccurate because there have been additional developments in a story after its original publication or broadcast. CHCH News will, however, consider new information to determine whether an update is necessary. In the case of an update, a specific notification will be posted through a time stamp that indicates an online update has occurred. In this digital age, our archive of material is very important, as is a permanent record of the information available at the time of original publication.

In exceptional cases, where material or parts of a story have been shown to be substantially wrong, we will review it and determine whether the original story should be revised or whether an update, clarification or correction should be published. The content of a significant correction or clarification and its timing and placement is the responsibility of senior news management.

Since our online material is available indefinitely and can be searched and retrieved online, we are sometimes asked to remove certain online articles or videos, often many years after the content was first published. We do not, except in very narrow circumstances, unpublish articles or videos. If someone changes their mind about being quoted, that is not a good enough reason to remove content from our archives.

We will only consider removal requests in rare circumstances and any decision to remove content in these instances must be weighed against the public’s right to know and the historical record – and only after consultation with senior news management, who will make the final decision.

However, if there is a change in circumstances, CHCH News will review new information and consider whether it is warranted to update our story, or remove it completely. For example, if criminal charges were dropped after we had reported that a person was charged with an offence.

Verification/fact-checking standards

CHCH News commits to publish accurate information across all of its content. We take many steps to ensure this. Our newsroom directly investigates claims, confirms information with subject-matter experts, seeks to corroborate what sources tell us by talking with other informed people, and consulting documents. We question assumptions, challenge conventional wisdom, verify content, and make clear who is providing the information and why. 

We guide our journalists to ask the following questions when they seek the truth and check to verify information we have received.

  • How do you know?
  • How can you be sure?
  • Where is the evidence?
  • Who is the source, and how does the source know?
  • What is the supporting documentation?
  • Could this have been faked?

Unnamed sources policy

Our objective is to get everything on the record because our readers and viewers deserve to know where we get our information, who our sources are and why such comments merit trust. We strive to attribute all comments and guard against those who wish to use anonymity as a means to hide the truth. When official sources choose not to respond to us, we will tell you this.

Sometimes, there are circumstances when permitting anonymity is necessary to obtain sensitive information vital to the public good. That is when the source might face harm, legal jeopardy or loss of livelihood for speaking with us. When we believe these circumstances warrant anonymity, CHCH News will be transparent with viewers and readers about our choice.

Additional news sources

Besides our own original, local journalism – which is the hallmark of CHCH News and our reason to exist – we also use other news services to complement our work and round out our national and international coverage.

The Canadian Press has been Canada’s trusted national news agency for more than 100 years. Through words, photos, graphics, audio and video, CP covers news stories that impact Canadians with fairness, compassion, and accuracy.

The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news co-operative, serving member newspapers and broadcasters in the U.S., and other customers around the world. AP journalists work in more than 100 countries telling the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting to visual storytelling.

CNN employs almost 4,000 journalists working in bureaus all around the world. Staffed 24 hours, seven days a week, CNN’s platforms deliver news of all sorts from every corner of the globe.

Reuters is the news and media division of Thomson Reuters and is one of the world’s largest multimedia news providers, reaching billions of people worldwide every day. Reuters provides business, financial, national and international news to the world’s media organizations.

Public engagement policy

We believe public feedback is essential. We are committed to engaging with you and taking action based on your suggestions, complaints, kudos and other feedback.

You may help us develop an individual story or line of coverage, answer questions that a story may raise, identify related or under-covered issues, and teach us about new and diverse sources, experts and perspectives.

We believe news organizations have a lot to gain from engaging with viewers and readers and that we also have a responsibility to talk with the public on the values, issues and ideas of the day. 

Here’s how you can reach us directly: 

Assignment Desk and news tips: tips@chch.com905-522-1101

Greg O’Brien, news director: